In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, one man's controversy is another's overblown nonevent. How then does one pick golf's controversy of the year? There was no shortage of dustups to choose from, so we went with a scientific approach (sort of). We came up with 11 elements that figure into any good public brouhaha and then charted how many of those elements apply to each of 2005's contenders. We have a winner.


Controversy Recap Senior CartsGeezers angry about Champions tour cart ban Appearance FeesTop Tour players receive cash to play in pretournament pro-am Monty's Bad DropColin Montgomerie gets caught improving his lie after a rain delay SpikegateVijay and Phil feud over spiked-up greens at Augusta Christina Kim @ Solheim Cup Excitable Cup rookie pours on the partisanship Tiger Splits PGATwo shots out of a playoff, Woods blows off the Monday finish Wie Debut DQTeen phenom disqualified after her illegal drop comes to light Phil Just Says NoWorld No. 3 takes a pass on the Tour Championship Creamer v. SorenstamRookie and superstar get heated over where Sorenstam's ball crossed a hazard
Breach of Decorum   Bonus (2 points) Standard (1 point) Bonus (2 points) Bonus (2 points) Double Bonus (3 points)   Standard (1 point)  
Breach of Rules     Standard (1 point)       Standard (1 point)    
Distasteful Behavior     Bonus (2 points) Bonus (2 points) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point)   Standard (1 point)  
Closed-door Meetings Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point)          
Official Sanctions     Standard (1 point)            
Threat of Legal Action Standard (1 point)   Standard (1 point)            
Personal Rancor Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Bonus (2 points) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point)     Standard (1 point)
Chance of Fisticuffs       Double Bonus (3 points) Bonus (2 points)       Standard (1 point)
Flight Problems     Standard (1 point)     Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point)
Initiated by SI Writer             Standard (1 point)    
Media Frenzy   Standard (1 point) Standard (1 point) Bonus (2 points)   Bonus (2 points) Double Bonus (3 points)   Standard (1 point)
Points 3 5 10 11 5 9 6 5 4



PHOTODARREN CARROLLHIDDEN BALL Wie's bad drop was big news, but was it the controversy of the year?
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)